Appalachian Basin

Slottje: The Natural Gas Emperor of Narcissism

As a landowner and business owner, I am greatly concerned about hydraulic fracturing. I have studied both sides of the issue, and based on extensive research and factual science, have determined that I support natural gas harvesting in New York. At the same time, I am extremely dismayed by the fracturing of our communities in this highly emotional issue. On August 22nd and 23rd, the Village of Oxford, New York heard presentations by Mr. Robert Wedlake and David Slottje, respectively, specific to a moratorium for natural gas development in the Village.
I found Mr. Wedlake’s presentation on August 22nd to be informative and open. He invited individuals to ask questions at any time during his presentation. He was professional, courteous, and non-threatening. Mr. Wedlake was not at the meeting to sell anything. He was forthright on his position that he is pro-natural gas. He even took the time to review the Village of Oxford’s current zoning ordinances, allowing him to answer questions specific to our village. He did make reference several times that Slottje would most likely be disagreeing with him on several points.

From the Oneida Daily Dispatch

The next evening was the presentation by Slottje. I cannot bring myself to use Mr. in front of his name, as that indicates respect. After the narcissistic sales pitch, filled with half-truths, willful misdirection and misleading information, I have anything but respect for Slottje.

I was confused, dismayed and extremely angered by his presentation. Confused, as it was difficult to determine whether this was a presentation about the superior intelligence of the Great Slottje, a one-sided trial against Mr. Wedlake, Mr.Tom West, Mr. Tom Shepstone or any one of another of the intelligent pro-natural gas supporters, or a forum for the narcissistic Slottje to attempt to intimidate those he deems beneath him – e.g., citizens for pro-gas- a sales pitch, or desperation.
“Me, me, me, I, I, I”…on and on it went. As the sales pitch for why the Village of Oxford should enact a moratorium and take the free services being offered by Slottje and the Community Environmental Defense Council (CEDC), I was becoming more and more angered and emotional by the outright half truths and misinformation being preached. I watched in utter amazement as the starry eyes were buying this hook, line, and sinker. There were so many heads bobbing up and down, I was waiting for the tidal wave to crash over me. I watched as he continued on with “ME, ME, ME, I, I, I.”
What did crash over me was a giant wave of nausea, a tidal wave of anger–the feeling that you get when you are at the beach, and a rogue wave is approaching, and you can’t get out of the way fast enough.
There were a few disruptions when Slottje made some clear misrepresentations of fact. But, remember, you must not question the Almighty Slottje. One such interruption came as he preached to the audience that Mr. Wedlake and his firm, HH&K, represented 800,00 acres and stood to profit $16 million on potential lease agreements. A member of the audience attempted to say this simply was not true. With a highly agitated, dismissive, condescending attitude, he repeated “NO! NO! NO!” in an attempt to remind the audience not to challenge the Great Davidski.
When the self promoting sales pitch was over, nearly 2 hours later, he said that time permitting he would answer questions. At this point, he was already packing up, indicating that he was done, and ready to move on. The planning board chairperson said that questions pertaining to the presentation contents or clarification were allowed, this was not the forum for a debate. Reasonable, but hard to swallow when there were so many areas of outright deceit and misinformation.
During his presentation, he was quite clear on his point that he was NOT a litigator. If the Village elected to use is free services, they were challenged, they would need to find different counsel to represent them. When someone asked about any cases that he had that were challenged, he said there were none. None? What about the City of Binghamton? His response,
Oh, well, perhaps I misspoke. If I did, I’m sorry. Yes, the city was so pleased with me, and thought that I was so great that they wanted me to represent them.
Really, how can you conveniently not remember something as significant as this?
A village board member asked about water protections. She stated that Mr. Wedlake had indicated that there were protections in the rdSGEIS for protecting water. (Mr. Wedlake indicated that a 1000’ setback from water supply was required by the rdSGEIS). The all knowing Slottje informed the board member that the SGEIS required only 100’-200’. Well, I guess if you refer to the original SGEIS, he may be correct. But, what about the most current version? In my opinion, I cannot call this a lie, as he specifically referred to the old SGEIS. However, it is very careful deception and misinformation on what is, most likely the main concern of the Village of Oxford – water. This is unethical and deceitful at best.
Road usage zoning was brought up by a village board member. They indicated that Chenango County was working on Chenango County model road use agreement that could be used by individual municipalities.
“I recommend that you do not use that,” stated Slottje. “It is inferior.”
So, now, we’re attacking the capabilities of Chenango County. I asked myself why would he do this? Then it came to me. Another sleazy attempt to move an individual village to enact something other than the county use, to make it more difficult for traffic to pass through the village. The truckers would have to be aware of each individual municipalities’ local laws.
Yes, when I was called on to get clarification of several points made by Slottje, I did lose some self control. I was so enraged, it was difficult to contain myself, and to express myself clearly. It was made very clear, that Slottje could make any statements and be disrespectful and dismissive, but the individuals being affected by his pronouncements could not challenge his assertions. After being chastised, I ended up walking out of the meeting. It was clear it was over. I had no need to hear anything else. I had seen all I needed. Any attempts for clarification or to call out Slottje were not going to be heard.
I think it is time for the self promoting “Emperor” to realize that he needs some new clothes.

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